HUNTINGTON, TX (KTRE) - Across Deep East Texas, some schools have seen attendance rates decline because of illnesses.
Empty slots where backpacks typically hang signal the absence of the children.
“We’re having a lot of kids out sick,” said Amy Williams, an assistant principal at Huntington Elementary.
Officials at Huntington ISD said attendance dropped to 85 percent Tuesday.
“We’re seeing children come with fever, maybe sniffles, flu-like symptoms, and we’re directly sending them to the nurse, sending them home. We are continuing to see children come in and out, maybe not fever free, and the illness spreading,” Williams said.
Williams said the increase in absences started last week and trickled into this week.
“We are trying to eliminate to as much contact between children as possible, using as much Germ-x, cleaning the classroom. We’ve given teachers supplies to keep their classrooms clean and to try to eliminate the spread of that illness and those germs,” Williams said.
Custodial and Grounds Director Shawn Ricks said a crew of six tackles the classrooms, the campus disinfecting, and reducing germs from spreading.
“Right now, we have staff from our custodial and grounds crew that are working after hours every evening, and they are spraying down and wiping all the classrooms,” Ricks said.
He adds that crews in the Transportation Department wipe down bus seats and sanitize the environment.
Huntington ISD Superintendent David Flowers said he and his team will monitor the situation it see if they need to make the decision to cancel classes later in the week.
Meanwhile, officials in the Woden and Lufkin school districts also say they’ve seen a spike in flu-like activity.